Toccoa Falls College is proud to highlight one of its most beloved history professors, Dr. David Jalovick. During the interview, Dr. Jalovick explains how TFC has changed over the years.
“How long have you been a professor here at TFC, and what classes do you teach?”
“I first came as a professor back in 1997. So this summer will be 20 years of teaching here, but before I became a professor I graduated from Toccoa Falls College in 1981. Right now, I am teaching 11 history courses, which is the bulk of the history courses that the school offers. For a while, I was basically the only history professor here at TFC, but we now have several adjuncts who teach a few of the courses.”
“So, you have been here for a long time. What kinds changes have you experienced over the years?”
“As a student, you are talking about a history that goes back 42 years. I first came onto this campus in 1975. One of the major things that has changed is the increase of students from Georgia. I noticed that when I came back as a professor the Hope grant had been established, which enabled a number of Georgia students to come to this college who would not have attended because of the tuition. One thing that was especially noticeable to me were the number of cars that were not on campus during the weekend. When I was a student, most of us were from out of state, and as a result nobody left, or very few people, left to go home.
Clothing styles have come and gone. When I was here, jeans were not allowed in the classroom because some of us were not wearing the best quality jeans. In regard to hairstyles for the guys, facial hair was not allowed. There were rules on hair length and dress length for women. Those things have changed.
Also, we have a much larger minority population. Whether African-American or Asian-American, minority population has grown. We are more ethnically and racially diverse than we were when I was a student. ”
“What was your experience like when you were a student at TFC, and what was your favorite part of being a student?”
“I was a missions cross-cultural major, and I have told plenty of people over the years that I think we had the best experience. We were taught to be world Christians, not worldly Christians. We were encouraged to get out of the American evangelical box. I felt that my studies went along with the biblical training that we were learning, as well as the various liberal arts and other courses.
When I first came as a student, I knew no one. I was 800 miles away from my home in Buffalo, New York. It took a while to get to know fellow students. I am very thankful for the foundation and experiences that I had here. You can benefit from both the good and the bad; both types of experiences shape you, hopefully for the better.”
“Were you here for the dam break? What was it like for you and how did it effect you?”
“I was not in Toccoa at the time of the dam break. After my sophomore year, which ended in the spring of ’77, my fiancée and I decided that it would be better for me to drop out of school temporarily so that we could get married and I could work while she finished her nursing degree. The school that she was attending was in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 300 miles away. We planned to move back to Toccoa after she graduated so that I could finish my degree as well. Though we were not living in Toccoa at the time, we did come back several times to visit before November of 1977. In fact, my wife’s parents were living in the trailer park on campus because her dad was taking classes at the school. We knew a good number of students who were attending TFC at the time of the dam break, and we were here visiting no less than 3 weeks before the tragedy occurred. We came back the day after it happened, but we were not allowed to cross the bridge. We knew a good number of the folks that had been killed, as well as the families.
One of my good friends, Jerry Brittan, was killed in the basement of Forrest hall. Jerry was from Western New York, and, since he did not have a car, he and I drove my car to New York several times. His room was where the Communications Department is now, and he was not able to make it out the night of the flood. A number of people that my wife’s family knew were killed in the flood as well. Thankfully, my wife’s parents survived the flood. The flood waters actually carried their trailer, rather than crushing it. After the flood, we stayed in Toccoa for a couple of days and visited some folks. It is hard to believe that this fall it will be 40 years ago since it happened.”
Toccoa Falls is thankful to hear from Professor Jalovick on his experience and vision at the school.